In these incredibly challenging times, we are truly inspired by everyone in Israel, including many of our partners and friends, who are donating their time and energy to helping those in need and making their voices heard. Many of us who have been watching developments unfold from afar are also asking, “what can we do to help?” Thanks to our friends at Israel on Campus Coalition and The iCenter, we have curated a list below with ways to get involved!
Make a donation or organize a fundraising drive in your community.
- A Package from Home: help send clothing and toiletries to soldiers on the frontlines.
- Leket Israel: send a basket of food to Israeli families in need.
- Bayit Ham LeHayal/A Warm Home for Every Soldier: donate to help provide basic supplies and long-term financial, physical and emotional support for lone soldiers.
- Magen David Adom: donate to Israel’s ambulance, blood-services and disaster relief organization. Donations made before July 31 will receive a matching grant.
- The Lone Soldier Center: help provide lone soldiers with much-needed backpacks.
- Jewish National Fund: help fund mobile bomb shelters for communities in the South, indoor recreation facilities and social services for children, elderly citizens and those with disabilities.
- Gvanim Association: help bring additional staff to Sderot communities, more counselors and much-needed building maintenance.
- Rikma Communities: help support volunteers in organizing social activities and emotional support for people in the South.
- Lev Echad: help support this national volunteer organization that mobilizes thousands of volunteers and deploys them to where they are needed most.
- Israel Gives: learn more about Israel’s nonprofits and organizations supporting communities in the South.
- Yashar LaChayal: help supply water backpacks and other specifically requested supplies to Israel’s soldiers.
- Thank Israeli Soldiers: send care packages, hear stories from the field and get to know soldiers receiving your gifts. (See photo below.)
- NU Threads: purchase a Thank You IDF tshirt and a matching one will be sent to a soldier on the frontlines.
- IDFWO: help sponsor scholarships, medical care and summer camp experiences and excursions for orphans and widows of fallen IDF soldiers.
- Latet South to South: be part of this effort to provide food to those in need in the South by shopping with Southern businesses.
- Jewcer: help fund trips for children and teens in the South, including those who are hearing impaired or deaf, on fun day trips to the North.
- Yerushalmim: provide families who have sent husbands and fathers off to reserve duty with volunteers to help with household responsibilities and childcare.
- American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC): support the JDC’s efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of the elderly, people with disabilities and at-risk children and youth in the South.
- Value Sports: help provide children in the South with emotional and social support through sports programs in collaboration with parents and coaches.
- Dream Doctors: help support this group of professional medical clowns raise the spirits and provide much-needed care for children in Israel. (See photo below.)
- Times of Israel and Huffington Post: write an op-ed to make your voice heard and share your perspective on the current situation with a global audience.
- On campus: see 72 ideas compiled by campus activists attending AIPAC‘s 25th Saban Leadership Seminar for ways to generate sympathy, solidarity and support for Israel at your school and in your community.
- Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC): apply for an ICC Israel Solidarity Grant for the 2014-2015 academic year and create a campus initiative that demonstrates visible public support for the State of Israel.
- NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation: connect with fellow Birthright Israel alumni and friends from home by hosting a Shabbat dinner. NEXT will provide resources and some funds to cover the cost of food.
- Retweet 4 Israel: donate your Twitter status to raise awareness about attacks on civilians in Israel.
- iTunes: download the Red Alert app and notify your peers, coworkers or friends when they are sounded.
- Buzzfeed: start a social media campaign showing your support for Israel.
- Collect and send portable cell phone chargers to Israeli soldiers. This allows them to call home even after their phones lose battery.
- Collect and send toys, games and art supplies to Southern cities for kids to use in shelters.
- Buy goods from Israeli, and especially Southern Israeli, businesses.
- Call local restaurants in Israel and prepay for families’ meals.
- Contact your representatives and senators and tell them why you stand with Israel.
- Share stories about real people in Israel. See the Jewish Federations of North America’s #LivingIt series.
- Simulate experiences to make them more real: sound a siren during dinner and practice running for shelter, make a visual representation of the number of rockets fired into Israel or organize a flash mob to raise awareness of everyday life in Israel during the Operation.
- Organize a discussion group at your school/university.
- Write an op-ed for your school or local paper.
- Speak to your friends and family about what is happening.
- Send messages of support to people in shelters and soldiers serving on the frontlines.
- Ynet and Times of Israel: follow up-to-the minute reports and lives blogs covering Operation Protective Edge and international reaction.
- Makom: read stories submitted by those who are experiencing and reflecting on the situation and acting to support others during this time. (See photo courtesy of Sarah Bronson of the Jewish Agency for Israel below.)
- Itamar Rabinovich: in Ha’aretz, Rabinovich, a former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, writes about the complicated relationship between Israel and America’s leaders and the implications of America’s diminishing role in the Middle East.
- Jeffrey Goldberg: on the Bloomberg View blog, acclaimed Middle East and foreign policy columnist makes a crucial point in one of his latest pieces, “Is Hamas trying to get Gazans killed?”
- Rabbi Menachem Creditor: in the Huffington Post op-ed “I’m done apologizing for Israel,” Rabbi Creditor addresses critics head on.
- Yishai Schwartz: in “Israel’s Deadly Invasion of Gaza is Morally Justified” in the New Republic, Schwartz describes the compelling moral underpinnings of Israel’s operation.
- The David Project: download a comprehensive discussion guide about Operation Protective Edge for background on morality in modern warfare, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel advocacy and more.
- The iCenter: review articles written for educators on how to address Operation Protective Edge, respectfully and effectively discuss tragedy in Israel and more.
- Read about social and historical events that continue to have an impact in Israel in Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land or Anita Shapira’s Israel: A History.
- Ask Big Questions: read about the importance of constructive conversation and download conversation guides from this Hillel initiative. Read more about big questions to ask during war and peacetime here.
- Hillel International: take a peak into the lives of six Ben-Gurion University students during Operation Protective Edge.
- Do you have more ideas? Share your recommendations with us for how to get involved and effective resources for learning more!